V-League coach and ref arrested for corruption

Vietnamese police have arrested a V-League coach and a referee for bribery as part of the widening investigation into match-fixing. Coach Nguyen Thanh Vinh (left) was taken into police custody in Ho Chi Minh City and FIFA-certified referee Truong The Toan was arrested in Hanoi for their involvement in the scam, a Ministry of Public Security official told Associated Press.

Vinh, coach of the East Asia-Pomina Steel team, is accused of ordering his assistant to give bribes of VND 130 million to a referee and his three assistants after the Ho Chi Minh City team earned promoted to the V-League earlier this year. Toan was accused of receiving VND 25 million from the team in a separate incident.

On Wednesday, the Vietnam Football Federation decided to suspend Vinh, his assistant and the team's manager and 14 referees for their involvement in the scandals. The VFF is also considering relegating EA-PS to the second division.

In an earlier interview with Thanh Niennew news (18 Oct), Vinh denied he had bribed referees but admitted his team had tipped them millions of dong:

"I didn’t bribe any referees; the money was a tip to all referees in the VFF’s national referee council, given at the time the football season 2005 ended. I contributed VND 40 million which was my prize for leading the club and gaining the V-League promotion, a part of the VND 130 million. I just wanted to share my success with others," he said.

See also: No 'unity' for accused Vietnamese sports director (5 Nov)